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Letter: Collins needs to address all the problems with GOP health bill
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On March 6, Ken Akins, Marissa Pyle and myself met with Rep. Doug Collins at his Gainesville office to talk about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). We were joined outside his office by over 100 friends from all over the 9th District. Since Rep. Collins refuses to hold in person town halls, we went to him!

Ms. Pyle told her family’s story of how the Affordable Care Act saved their family from destruction after her father was diagnosed with cancer and after she was diagnosed with auto-immune disease. They had just gotten coverage under ACA when all this happened. Her story can be repeated millions of times all over the country.

After our visit, there was a lengthy quote in The Times which basically said we were asking for a failing health care program to be continued and that many more people suffer more than Ms. Pyle has benefitted because of the expense of the exchanges.

Then the Republican plan was published. The plan will mean loss of coverage or coverage so expensive that 20 million people will no longer be able to afford medical care. Rep. Collins wrote about the Ryan-Trump bill in an editorial that was published in the White County News last week. He began by talking about his constituent. Mrs. Ivey of Toccoa, who had to go to work full time to afford the exchange premiums. Although I sympathize with her predicament, she might want to look to her employer, who decided to drop health care insurance for employees.

Collins mentioned that this plan would bring $883 billion in tax relief to hardworking Americans. But statistics show that most of that tax relief would go to wealthy Americans.

He praised cuts to Planned Parenthood which mean that millions of women who rely on the ability to get cancer screenings through Planned Parenthood would lose that benefit.

He talked about cuts to Medicaid expansion. He said these cuts would insure that Medicaid only went to the disabled and the elderly and not to able-bodied men. There are plenty of able-bodied men and women who get sick but because of low income can’t afford medical insurance. This plan would drop approximately 10 million from Medicaid.

Then he complained about those who don’t like tax credits for insurance given through Obamacare to low-income people so they could afford health insurance. The reason people are against the credits in this bill is they are so small most people still won’t be able to afford insurance.

Why give a person making $75,000 a year a tax credit? In addition, an older person will have to pay five times more for insurance than a younger person. If this passes, a single person age 60 in Lumpkin County making $30,000 a year will pay $10,400 for insurance a year, as opposed to $1,700 under Obamacare.

Basically, the very people who voted for Donald Trump who want better insurance at a lesser cost will get less coverage at more cost. More lies, more broken promises.

Bette Holland
Dawson County

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